I too am trying to sort though the Atherton family.Robert Howard married Diana Atherton.I believe that Diana may have been born in Maryland.
The first child of that union was Thomas Howard and he was born about 1794.I make this assumption as he became the executor of the estate for his father Robert Howard in April 22, 1815.One must assume that he was 21 at the time.The reason for this court action was that the widow of Robert Howard was going to marry again in 1815 to William Leach.
I have seen a copy of William Leaches' WILL (he was born in Maryland and this was his second marriage as both he and Diana had children from other marriages)and in it it states that Susan Howard was the daughter of Robert and Diana Howard and he refers to her as his step-daughter.I have a copy of that will and of the marriage certificate for William and Diana.
Diana Howard Leach was an Atherton and am trying to work that out her family of origin. The court papers that I obtained from Ohio County KY reguarding the estate of Robert Howard, mentionMOSES Atherton and JOHN Atherton.
MOSES ATHERTON, John Shultz, and William Roger appraised the estate July 1815.
A JOHN ATHERTON became the guardian of Martin Howard December 1816 In the court doctument it states that Martin was 10 years old. Martin was bound out to John Atherton to learn a trade.
I belive that Robert Howard may have died about 1810 but the settling of the estate was postponed until she was about to remarry to portect the Howard children.In 1810 Census she is listed as head of household and her age at between 26 and 45 years. In the 1820 Census of the household of William Leach she is listed as over 45 years of age.That would put her birth about 1775 or earlier.
Two of the sons of Robert Howard and Diana Atherton were involved with the Atherton relatives.
THOMAS HOWARD married SARAH ATHERTON about 1816 and moved with Aaron ATHERTON and his wife Christinia to ALEXANDER County Illinois.Later part of this county became UNIONCounty Illinois.In the State Census for Union County, IL you can find BIGGERSTAFF, William;ETHERTON, John, Moses, Samuel, Aaron;HOWARD, Thomas,Aaron;HOLLENHEAD,Frances;and WHITAKER, Alexander, John, Thomas.Moses Etherton is listed as #139 and Alexander Whitaker #140 (their wives were Biggerstaff sisters).
From the Biggerstaff Family the daughter of Thomas Biggerstaff, Mary Biggerstaff married Samuel Etherton in Muhlenbery County, KY Sept 1811 and moved to Alexander County, Illinois.Aaron Biggerstaff married Sarah Howard in Alexander County Illinois 20 Jan 1822.Sarah was a daughter of Robert Howard and Diana Atherton.
From another source There were Athertons, Lees, and Biggerstaffs that served in the Capt. Daniel Cresap's Company of the Maryland Militia from 1778-89.Aaron, Benjamin, John and Joshua Atherton came to Kentucky around 1780.William Henry Lee married Margaret Atherton and two of their sons married Aaron Atherton's daughters.
There were some Lees in Illinois.There was a Samuel Lee who was married to a Phoebe Atherton and he was elected to the IL legislature in 1838.
Now for another Robert and Diana Howard connection:
Samuel Howard (born 1801) married Nancy Montgomery 12 December 1822 in Ohio County KY.Samuel died 1834 leaving widow, Nancy and several children.Nancy Howard then married Aaron Atherton who was first married to Mildred Hoover.They were married 7 June 1842 in Daviess County KY.Aaron Atherton was the son of John Atherton Jr and the grandson of Charles Anna Atherton.Charles was born about 1733 and his son JOhn Jr. was born about 1769.
I believe that the above Charles Atherton, Aaron Atherton who was married to Christina and John Atherton Sr. who was married to Sally were brothers.I have a couple of sources.
Beaver Dam Fork of Muddy CreeK (Ohio Co. KY)
Beaver Dam Church was constituted on March 1798 with five charter members:John Atherton Sr., Sally Atherton, Aaron Atherton, Christina Atherton, and James Keel.Source:PRIMITIVE BAPTIST HISTORY:CHURCH AND FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH ASSISTANCE FOR OHIO COUNTY, KENTUCKY.
In Alexander County it was English Baptists who had apparently settled in New York in colonial times, moved to Owensboro KY on the Ohio River, lived there for a generation, when the more venturesome followed the lure of the river and of the West and came to Alexander County about one hundred strong.
One historian described them as a Church settlement consisting of AARON ATHERTON, 80 years old, his 3 SONS:Aaron, John C., and Samuel, and THEIR SONS: Aaron, Nathaniel and Talbot, and THEIR SONS-IN-LAW:Giles Whitaker, Martin Atherton, William and Aaron Biggerstaff, William Warford, Henry Johnson, Langhame, D. Hollingshead and THOMAS HOWARD, together with other relatives and friends.The company was about the size of the Pilgrim Colony as there were nine families of the Athertons and their relatives that came here together, at the same time.Their method of coming here has not been set down in history books, but living descendants from the Atherton line say they came by boat down the river.
The above was part of the history from Church records.
I am also trying to determine if Aaron Atherton who in these records was married to Christina Coleman was the father of Diana Howard.There is another Aaron Atherton that is found in KY about the same age and same place and I believe that these 2 Aarons are either related or the same person.It may be that they are father and son or it may be that Christina was a second wife.
Would appreciate any insight you have and would be happy to share information.I have a pretty comprehensive list of people who went to Illinois and many are supported with marriage documents from Ohio County KY.
Lucy Howard Strait